I was totally caught off guard. They put my feet to the fire, because I couldn’t remember what day I visited my father-in-law. Why this piece of information was so crucial to Kim D.’s sense of well-being will remain a mystery to everyone but her. She seemed personally offended, as if my father-in-law was her own flesh and blood.
I was raised to be polite and answer a direct question when it was put to me. It’s a reflex. I didn’t stop to think, “Hey, it’s none of your business where and when I do what I do.” I didn’t get a chance to ask them my questions, such as, “Why didn’t you call your brother, who also went to the hospital this week, or even ask me how he was feeling?” Nor did I think it was a good time to address this at a child’s birthday party. The issue was never about whether or not I was showing the proper love and respect to our sick family members. At the time, it felt like the only issue was how these ladies could pick me apart and try to convince everyone that I’m a terrible daughter-in-law, wife, mother, and human being.